Kanye West’s single “Power” has sparked a lawsuit against Universal Music Group. The lawsuit is sparked due to the use of prog-rock group King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man.”
Declan Colgan Music Ltd (DCM), who owns the rights to mechanical reproduction (the initial version) in “21st Century Schizoid Man,” asserts that UMG is not paying streaming royalties in “Power.”
According to the suit, West initially sampled the King Crimson track without a license before uploading the way onto YouTube in 2010. Since then, it has since racked up nearly 134 million viewers. West also included “Power” in his fifth album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
When DCM discovered West’s copyright violation, they approached UMG. Alongside West with his production company “Rock the World,” — entered into an agreement with DCM within two months. Legally giving West to play his version of King Crimson track in return for the payment of 5.33% royalty for each copy of “Power” that was sold or “otherwise exploited.”
As per the clauses of the licensing agreement, UMG is required to pay DCM an annual royalty. Under the same conditions that West gets royalty payments for the tracks. In accordance with West’s contract to UMG in the past, UMG’s royalty rate for streaming tracks was comparable to tracks on physical CDs.
But, DCM claims in their lawsuit, brought in the U.K. High Court last month. They have stated that UMG has failed to comply with the royalty.
Kanye West’s Single “Power” Bringing Stress to UMG
In essence, they claim the argument that UMG ought to be paid streaming royalty on the amounts they would have earned. In the event of physically sold CDs, as stipulated in the contract in 2010. Instead, per the lawsuit, UMG has been paying an amount that is a fraction of what they actually get. In each streaming which is a lesser amount than what it would be in the case of CD sales.
DMG is currently seeking the payment of all amounts due and also interest. They also ask the court to sign an announcement stating the proper basis to calculate streaming royalties.
The suit responds to the fact that musicians within the U.K. seek fairer terms for streaming royalties offered by major labels. The U.K. Department of Culture, Music, and Sport looks into the business model of music streaming.
Kanye West’s single “Power”, is bringing pressure on Universal Music Group. The representatives of UMG were not available to the press. DCM’s lawyers declined to comment.